Justin Bieber’s music collaboration with TikTok last month resulted in a hugely successful live concert performance of his iconic 2013 album Journals. The #JournalsLive event, which streamed live on Valentine’s Day on TikTok, attracted more than four million unique views over two broadcasts.
The #JournalsLive concert was TikTok’s first-ever full-length, live performance by a single artist and the most-viewed single-artist livestream in the app’s history. It also marked Bieber’s first-ever performance of songs from Journals and generated enough excitement to move the album past three billion all-time streams. The concert bumped Bieber’s tracks “All That Matters” and “Heartbreaker” onto charts in multiple countries and revived the rest of his catalog including his newest single, “Anyone,” which took the #1 spot on iTunes the following weekend.
As Bieber joins the TikTok ranks of The Weeknd, who made headlines after hosting a successful in-app, cross reality experience this past August, the app is growing into the go-to destination for music artists defining the future of fan engagement.
“I’m excited to bring this show to life. Journals is one of my favorite projects and I’ve never performed it live,” Justin Bieber said in a statement before the concert. “I’m grateful to TikTok for helping me to bring this show to everyone on Valentine’s Day.”
According to Chayce Cheatham who works in label partnerships at TikTok, the entire #JournalsLive project was solely Bieber’s idea. It was very important to the singer, Cheatham explains, to develop a new way for his loyal fanbase to interact with his iconic album.
MORE FOR YOU
While Bieber’s large fanbase, which includes more than 20.3 million TikTok followers (700,000 of which connected after the concert announcement), surely contributed to the success of the concert, so did the intimate setting. Viewers watching the performance on TikTok felt as if they were in the same room as the singer, Cheatham explains. Streamed “live from Drew House,” which is Bieber’s stealthy fashion line and community, the concert gave people a rare invitation to venture deeper into the singer’s world.
In order to impress Bieber’s dedicated fanbase, Cheatham says that it was essential for him to plan his performance down to the smallest details. TikTok provides artists with a platform to express their authenticity, she says, and fans noticed that Bieber fully embraced the opportunity. From Drew House merchandise, to specific pieces of art displayed in the background, the artist left no detail unattended.
“Justin’s vision was uniquely his own, and we’re always happy to provide artists a platform to showcase their talents, execute their vision and interact with fans,” Cheatham says. TikTok provides a space for artists to engage with the platform in new and innovative ways, reach their fans directly and allow them to create, using the music they love. TikTok provides a space for these special music moments that are so necessary amid the pandemic–and fans have waited on this performance of Journals for years.”
While artists at all levels are finding success on TikTok, established acts like Bieber face a unique opportunity. Not only did the concert engage his long-time fans, but it also introduced his previously recorded music to an entirely new audience using the app.
“TikTok is a community where everyone belongs–it’s an inclusive platform that encourages artists to be their authentic selves while finding a community that does the same,” Cheatham adds. “We see it as a platform of discovery for new music, a place to interact with older music, and bring a sense of community to the music industry.”
Bieber’s recent performance has inspired a new user experience-based development for creators, artists and music fans on TikTok. Cheatham says that artists have expressed interest in featuring “fan-favorites” on the platform to reflect the music that fans favor most.